Socastee alum Lemonis gets Mississippi State job

Socastee High alum Chris Lemonis has been named head baseball coach at Mississippi State.

Lemonis, who helped lead Louisville to three College World Series appearances as the Cardinals’ top assistant and directed Indiana to NCAA regional appearances in three out of the last four years as head coach, will be formally introduced in a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field.

“Chris is a winner and has elevated programs everywhere he has coached,” Cohen said. “He understands what it takes to get to Omaha, and he’s done it as a coach and a player. He is the most dynamic recruiter I have been around in my 25 years in college baseball, and his track record of identifying and developing Major League talent in his 24 years of coaching illustrates that. Chris is also one of the elite baseball tacticians in the country. We are excited that Chris will successfully lead us into a new chapter of Mississippi State baseball.”

Lemonis’ successful coaching career includes 24 years of collegiate experience, including four as a head coach, three College World Series appearances, 12 NCAA regional berths, a combined 786-457 record and three 50-win seasons. Prior to his successful stint at Indiana, Lemonis was tabbed as the 2013 American Baseball Coaches Association/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year after developing Louisville into one of college baseball’s most dominant programs.

“It’s an incredible honor to be the head coach at Mississippi State,” Lemonis said. “The tradition, fan base and facility in Starkville are second to none in college baseball. My goal is to keep the program moving forward, strive for championships and ultimately win in Omaha. We will be aggressive in attracting the best players in the country to Mississippi State, and when they get here, we will develop them to their fullest potential on and off the field.”

Lemonis, who turned around a struggling program at Indiana, has been chosen to Bulldogs interim coach Gary Henderson. Mississippi State was eliminated from the College World Series in the semifinals by Oregon State.

Lemonis starred at Socastee and The Citadel, leading the Bulldogs to the 1990 College World Series. He served as an assistant at The Citadel and Louisville before getting his first head coaching break at Indiana in 2015.

Lemonis led the Hoosiers to 141-91-2 record and three NCAA tournament appearance over four seasons. They went 40-19 this season.

Lemonis will take over one of the nation’s top programs. Mississippi State has reached the College World Series 10 times and has won 11 SEC championships.

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics

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